The official length of a marathon is 26 miles 385 yards, and to run such a lengthy race entails heavy training, mental preparation, stamina and strength. Clearly such a feat isn’t easy, but according to some local runners, there are things even tougher.
Here are 19 things Long Island runners told us are even harder than running a marathon:
The American Pregnancy Association explains that some of the physical symptoms related with pregnancy can include anger, hot flashes, strong pressure at your rectum, nausea, vomiting, gas, possible bowel or urination accidents, chills and intense contractions that last an average of 8-12 hours.
An Ironman competition
Various sources suggest that an Ironman competition (running a marathon directly after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles) can result in such physical traumas as musculoskeletal damage, nutrition absorption disruption, brain fatigue, challenged core body temperature regulation, dehydration, fuel supply and usage issues, stomach discomfort and bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and intense perspiration in the order of 20 pounds of fluid.
Staying healthy and injury-free while training for a marathon
Runner's World states that proper training for a traditional marathon (26.2 miles) involves at least 3 to 6 months of running four times a week, building to 35 to 40 miles run weekly. We recommend that you have a base of a minimum of three to six months' worth of running four times per week. You should also be careful of blisters on the feet and chafing of nipples. Various sources suggest that while marathon training can improve health and well-trained athletes should be OK, running can adversely affect toenails and result in muscle soreness, among other pains.
Getting out of the house with a baby in tow
You may not need to stretch your hamstrings to get an infant from home to your destination, but make sure you have bottles, formula, water, diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, a change of clothes, a hat and anything else your little one might need or you'll find yourself running to a store at some point in your journey to buy whatever you forgot.
Of course, the baby will start crying as soon as you start driving, anyway, so leave enough time for a bottle stop, or a changing stop, or both. (You may need a change of clothes yourself after those moments occur.)
The first trimester of pregnancy
The Mayo Clinic states that this beginning stage of pregnancy can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting (including morning sickness), a heightened sense of smell (which means odors may trigger that aforementioned nausea), constipation, heartburn, cravings or food aversions, fatigue, dizziness, increased urination and mood swings.
Watching your firstborn get behind the wheel of a car
Torn by memories of how it seems like your teen was just a baby yesterday and what a lousy driver you were as a high school student makes giving your child the car keys a gut-wrenching experience. Some online advice sources recommend putting your child in a safety course before they ever get started, and be involved in what they do, but it's unlikely any form of training can keep moms and dads from becoming a nervous wreck every time your children drive off into traffic.
Finding affordable housing on Long Island
The Multiple Listing Service of Long Island states that as of March 2016, the current median price for Suffolk County is $399,000, while the current median list price for Nassau County is $549,990. Forbes reported in November 2015 that five LI communities are among the 50 most expensive ZIP codes in the U.S. (Sagaponack, Water Mill, Wainscott, Bridgehampton and Old Westbury).
Doing even just one pull-up
If you research the value of pull-ups, you'll find a general consensus that the exercise builds strength from the hands, through the arms into the shoulders, back and abdominal muscles -- so it makes sense to expect it's a tough undertaking for some.
Completing a Tough Mudder
If slogging through an obstacle course (averaging 10 to 12 miles) that may involve tons of ice and gallons of mud appeals to you, the next official Tough Mudder event will take place at the Old Bethpage Restoration Village (1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage) on July 24, 2016 (toughmudder.com).
Just waking up at the crack of dawn and getting to the starting line
The book "Running a Marathon For Dummies" offers that even those runners who hate waking up before the sunrise are best-served by getting up with extra time to eat, get dressed, go to the bathroom and arrive at the race location early enough to properly stretch, warm up and mentally prepare for the challenge ahead.
Getting a teething baby to fall asleep — and stay asleep through the night
Parenting advisers seem to lean in the direction of pain relievers to help children cope with the 20 teeth expected to arrive by the age of 2, so consult with your pediatrician on what might be the best bet to help your child (and you) sleep through the night.
If looking at an equation like y(z + d) - y(z) = f(z, y) * d doesn't make you wince, then perhaps calculus isn't so tough for you.
Pushing a car with a dead battery uphill
The American Automobile Association does not recommend you attempt to push your vehicle, but instead switch on the emergency flashes -- and if you think you may be struck from behind, to exit your vehicle safely. Once in a danger-free location, reach out by phone for help or law enforcement officers.
Snowboarding or skiing down an icy black diamond trail
These are expert-level trails, especially steep and exposed to difficult conditions. The American College of Sports Medicine states that falls and collisions while skiing can lead to sprains, fractures, lacerations and dislocations -- and the National Ski Areas Association reports that between 2002-2012, an average of 41.5 people have died while skiing and/or snowboarding.
Climbing Mt. Everest, on your knees, with your hands tied behind your back, and blindfolded
There aren't any reported fatalities connected with such a feat (unlike the hundreds that have occurred among climbers who have attempted on-foot).
Successfully playing patty-cake with Edward Scissorhands
It might also be pretty dangerous to let him cut your hair.
Getting support for your second marathon run
Some runners note that while friends and family are quick to support you during your first-ever marathon, you often run the second one alone.
The American Psychological Association states that "Emotional support is an important protective factor for dealing with life's difficulties," so if someone important to you is getting ready to undertake the effort of running a marathon -- be it their first or one of many -- it makes sense to try and be there when they cross the finish line (or even if they don't make it that far).
Understanding the opposite sex
Folding a fitted sheet
There are several videos and websites that offer help in accomplishing this task -- so blame them if, when following their instructions, you still end up with a ball of frustrated fabric.